Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen (Buy One, Get One Free) Memorial Day Edition: A-Z

Last year, I asked readers for their opinion on the greatest artists of all time to emerge from the metroplex area, and I presented it as a top ten playlist. Let's face it, all time countdowns are one of the staples of holiday weekends, and it was quite fun to compile. This year, I'm following the path of another radio cliche: the A-Z list. For obvious reasons, I cannot do that thorough of a list. What I have done instead is chosen a song title that begins with each letter of the alphabet, starting at A and ending at Z. No letter, not even Q or X, has been left out.

"Abner", RTB2
I alphabetized my local music iTunes playlist, and this was the first song on the list. It seemed appropriate that I should begin the playlist with the song. Plus, you can't go wrong with RTB2. Really.
"Bridges", Sorta
I've always had a soft spot for songs that on the surface sound cheerful and update, but upon further listening the lyrics expose the darker side of the song. "Bridges" is definitely a prime example of the song. The melody seems quite laid back, and the verse starts out sweetly enough. By the chorus, however, it becomes apparent that this song is anything but a happy pop song. This is one of my favorite Sorta songs, and it can be found on their Little Bay CD, which is one of my all time favorite albums.
"Chasing Corporate", Air Review
There's a certain irony to the line in the song "This could be our only chance". Not only is this track a strong and commercially viable single, their album Landmarks is filled with plenty of tracks that are great ear candy.
"D Street", Luna Matto
Two things you should know. First, the band plays Kessler Theater this Saturday along with Sarah Renfro and Young and Brave. Second, this band is still beyond awesome. That is all.
"Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
In case you haven't heard, Hendrick is calling it quits. The band plays its farewell show June 26th at Trees, and I have no doubt that the band will play this song.
"Fat Girls", THe BAcksliders
When the band recorded You're Welcome, I was lucky enough to be the first non-band member to get a copy of the CD. That remains my favorite CD of theirs, and this track in particular got many repeat listens.
"Gravitate", Chomsky
I have nothing witty to say here. It's Chomsky. That's reason enough to put it on the list.
"Honky Tonk Angels (Don't Happen Overnight)", Eleven Hundred Springs
The list seemed to be very light on country music, and you can't get much more country than Eleven Hundred Springs.
"I Regret The Day I Tried to Steal Daniel's Ego", The Deathray Davies
If ever there's a Guitar Hero: Dallas Edition, this song would need to be on there. The intro alone is just a perfect opening riff.
"Jesus Light", Carter Albrecht
I know my friend Jayson Bales will argue that I should have selected "Jesus is Alive... and Living In London" instead. Both are fine songs indeed, but I'm slightly more partial to this song that could be taken as either a spiritual message or a song about a night light. I suspect it's the latter, but Mr. Albrecht definitely squeezed maximum mileage out of the double-entendre.
"Knock on a Nail", Mildred
Hearing this song takes me back to high school and listening to this song on KDGE (94.5, not 102.1). If you're reading this, Mark, maybe you could resurrect the Tales from the Edge series. Think about it...
"Lush Life", Baboon
Toadies may be my favorite local noise rock band, but "Lush Life" would have to be my favorite local noise rock song. And does anyone use the phrase "noise rock" anymore, or that just too 1996?
"My Umbrella", Tripping Daisy
I've tried to include more of what I would classify as "classic" local artists on this list, and Tripping Daisy would have to be near the front of any list of major local acts from the past twenty years. How their album Bill never became a bigger hit is still beyond me.
"Never Say Never", Salim Nourallah
Every time I hear this song, I think of my friend Anju Gill. Anju, you're still missed.
"Only a Mountain", Pleasant Grove
Mark your calendars: Pleasant Grove is not only playing August 7th at Kessler Theater, they will perform Auscultation of the Heart in its entirety, front to back.
"Possum Kingdom", Toadies
As I said earlier, I'm highlighting many local classics, and few songs by metroplex artists have been as big as this song.
"Quarterlife Crisis", Jayson Bales
I'm sure people will wonder why I didn't select "Question" by Old 97's to represent the letter Q. Here's my reasoning. First of all, while I like the song, it's definitely not what I'd call one of my favorites by the band. Second, by the time the band recorded the song, half the members weren't even residing in Dallas. Perhaps I'm being too picky, I don't know. Most importantly, I feel that Jayson Bales' music does not get the attention it deserves, and this song is clever, catchy, insightful, and simply put, everything that a song should be.
"Rulers Ruling All Things", Midlake
This list has been heavy on Big D artists, now here's a little something for all you little D fans.
"Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
I'm excited that Mr. Quazi is returning to the studio and recording his follow up to Supernatural. In the meantime, listen to the title track.
"Tender", Black Tie Dynasty
And representing the letter T is the band Joy Division. No, wait... I mean Interpol. Alright, alright, perhaps Black Tie Dynasty wasn't breaking any new ground with this song, but anyone with a soft spot for the darker side of new wave will certainly find this song very pleasing to the ears.
"Undercover", Bridges & Blinking Lights
It was a tough call between this track and Airline's "Ulysses", and B&BL won out in the end. Sadly enough, both bands recently broke up, and unless I'm mistaken, neither had a proper farewell show. Hey, maybe the two could do a joint farewell show.
"Victoria", Old 97's
You didn't think I'd let this list go by without an Old 97's tune, did you? So while I passed on "Question" earlier, I absolutely love this song, and there aren't many songs beginning with V either.
"When We Was Kool", PPT
I love Damaged Good$ and Dem Southernfolkz, but I'd have to say that during my time as "The Ghost", I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a rap act as much as the now defunct PPT.
"X-Ray Vision", The Wurlitzer Prize
I'll bet you were wondering what I'd use for a song beginning with X. I don't think this band lasted more than about two years (2002-2004 I believe), and they released only one EP, Square One, on Sara Radle's Jeez Louise label. Although their fan base was relatively small, those who remember the band recall lead singer Del Perez's knack for sharp lyrics and straight ahead rock hooks.
"You've Got Your Heart", The O's
"Zermatt", Lucy Loves Schroeder

Forgive me, I'm out of comments, so just enjoy the last two tracks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Emily Elbert Tickets

Hey, there's plenty of great shows tonight, including Camille Cortinas at Barley House, THe BAcksliders at Double-Wide, and Emily Elbert with Michael Henry Tillman at the Kessler Theater. Barley House is always free, Double-Wide will charge cover, as does the Kessler. However, Jeffrey Liles was kind enough to give me a pair of tickets to give away for tonight's show.

In case you haven't seen Ms. Elbert perform live, well, it's quite a treat. I've heard fans say "she's good for her age", but I have an issue with that statement. Her level of talent as both a vocalist and guitarist surpasses that of probably 90% of all local musicians. Good for her age? Good regardless of age is more like it. Oh, and if you haven't been to the Kessler yet, it's a lovely venue and it seems to be a place where audience members actually LISTEN to music instead of talk over it. That's always a refreshing change of pace.

But back to the tickets. Here's the deal. Send me an email at with "Emily Elbert" as the subject line. First to do so gets the tickets. It's that simple.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 5/23/10 - 5/29/10

It's been a long, long time since I've created a playlist, and I feel this is long overdue. As stated in my previous entry, blog entries may still be irregular at best, but I suspect you'll be getting a second entry from me later this week. I'll tell you about that in the playlist...

  1. "Burning Pictures", The Monco Poncho
    The band is finally releasing its debut album, Miserable Man, and there's going to be a CD release show this Saturday, and this is THE show to be at. It'll take place at the Granada Theater, and will also feature Stu Dicious, Whiskey Folk Ramblers (I believe it's a CD release show for them as well), and the one and only Salim Nourallah. At some point before that show, there should be a review of Miserable Man on the website, as the band did pay to have the CD reviewed. Before you start shouting "payola", let me explain further. At this year's UltraViolet show, people could bid on works of art (among other things) and the proceeds went to help the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Since I have no artistic talent, I opted to donate the opportunity to have an album reviewed on my site. Nick Durham (lead singer of Monco Poncho) had the winning bid at $30. Hey, it's more than Dave Hickmott (The Felons) paid last year. Now it's time for me to pay up with my review.

  2. "Talk to My Heart", THe BAcksliders
    My thanks to Chris Bonner for sending me their latest song. This is easily the most pop sounding tune the band has put out, and it sounds as if the band has been absorbing the sounds of 60's pop bands. Needless to say, that's a good thing. I don't know if the rest of the new material will follow this path or stay true to the band's harder, more rocking sound. I eagerly anticipate the answer to that question.

  3. "Fire in the Firmament", Chucky Sly, Bavu Blakes and Headkrack
    Chucky Sly's "Jimmy Is About to Die" was easily the best rap tune to emerge from the metroplex area last year. I must confess, my knowledge of his work is limited to "Jimmy" and the track on this week's playlist, and I hope to change that. At the least, this track shows me that Chucky Sly is no one hit wonder, and it suggests that he could and should be a powerful force in local hip-hop.

  4. "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll
    The song is called "Paper Girl" and NOT "Paper Bag" as was previously written in a local music blog. Obviously some bloggers have no journalistic standards whatsoever.

  5. "I Can't Decide", Lovie
    It's hard for me to decide what track from the band's Because of My Mattress EP is the best. This track, clocking in at barely over two minutes, is a brief synopsis of everything that is right with the band and its newer, more rocking sound.

  6. "Will You Be There?", Pale Horse
    For those of who you missed my showcase at the Cavern with Pale Horse (as well as Cocky Americans and The Roomsounds), shame on you. At some point in the near future, I hope to give the band the full profile it so deserves. In the meantime, I'll just say that the band puts on a seriously intense performance, and that lead vocalist J.R. Denson has a powerful vocal and stage presence. The music is raw, rugged, straight from the heart, and while it's not soul music, it is definitely music with a soul.

  7. "Where the Light Is", Emmeline
    I previously offered her track "The Story" as a free download, and I would still encourage you to download the song. She said I could offer up whatever I deemed to be her best song as a free download, but I made a mistake. While "The Story" is a powerful and beautiful tune, I've come to the conclusion that "Where the Light Is" is her best song. This time, you'll just have to settle for listening to it here.

  8. "On a Moving Train", Pop Poppins
    Hypster recently allowed for tracks on YouTube to be added to playlists. I'm kinda OCD when it comes to accurate song titles and labels, but fortunately this track on YouTube was properly labelled and spelled. This is good, as I don't have this track on CD, and it's my favorite song of the band.

  9. "Nostalgia Co.", Smiling at the Ceiling
    When Sarah Crisman talks, I listen. For those who don't know Ms. Crisman, she was the music editor for Pegasus News and made the site quite a joy to read during her time there. She emailed me recently and told me about this band, and I must give her credit for introducing me to this new band. This particular track is unusually infectious and fun. I have a feeling this will be a good year for Smiling at the Ceiling.

  10. "To Whom It May Concern", The Burning Hotels
    This is the second single from the band's album Novels. Technically, can you call it a single if it's not released as a physical single? Or am I just thinking too much?

  11. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
    Yes, I've been ranting and raving about Ms. Matto for what seems like an eternity. Now the masses can finally catch on to her talent. Her three song EP, Happy Isn't Real, is now available on iTunes for a mere $2.97 plus tax. Any one of the tracks on the EP alone is worth that money. So take a break from the blog, and download the EP. Now. Seriously.

  12. "Pastel Lights", Ishi
    Ishi played the City Tavern stage at the Homegrown Festival yesterday, and you may recall that it was quite muddy by that stage. So did this keep people on the sidelines during Ishi's performance? Nah, of course not. The band knows how to create the soundtrack for a party, and this particular track was the highlight of the set.

  13. "Walls", The Rocket Summer
    I can already hear the criticisms coming my way for putting this song on the playlist. The Rocket Summer is too mainstream, it's too emo, yadda yadda yadda. Yes, Bryce Avery has done quite well this year, with a top ten selling album on iTunes and with this song being featured on commercials promoting the TV show Friday Night Lights. Don't fault Mr. Avery for his success, but instead be glad that someone from the metroplex area is having success. Plus, this song is absolutely beautiful and a surprisingly intelligent and heartfelt examination on battling depression. This just might be my favorite song of the year thus far.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Be Patient

Dear readers,

As you have undoubtedly noticed, the quantity of posts has steadily been going down this year, and it has been weeks since I've even published a playlist. Many great albums have come out this year, and I have only reviewed one so far. Many of you have emailed me about bands, shows, albums, etc. that I have not discussed on Ghost of Blind Lemon. I could go through a very long laundry list of local music gems that have not been covered on the blog. I do not have the time to mention every one of them, but needless to say I regret that I have not been able to shine the light on these deserving acts. Personal factors which I would rather not discuss here have contributed to the lack of entries which again, I regret.

Right now, I need to shift my focus onto matters other than the blog. This is not, I repeat, NOT the end of Ghost of Blind Lemon. It's just that posts will continue to be few and far between for the time being. Those who know me will undoubtedly see me around at shows; I will always first and foremost remain a local music fan. For the time being, however, I will be shifting my focus away from the blog. As the entry title suggests, I ask for your patience. This is only a temporary situation, and I look forward to being able to resume the blog with a greater sense of focus, time, and energy to devote to the many wonderful musicians in the metroplex area. Thank you for all the support you have given to me, and more importantly, to the local music community. Please continue to support local shows, go to shows, buy CDs and mp3s, and all that jazz.


"The Ghost"

P.S. I leave you with a classic pop poppins track from their Delight in Disorder album. I figured if I'm asking for you to be patient, I could at least let you listen to "Be Patient". Pretty clever, huh?